Sabtu, 30 Juli 2016

MINISTER VOWS TO IMPLEMENT TAX AMNESTY PROGRAM

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, July 30 (Antara) - Indonesia's New Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has vowed to ensure that the government's amnesty program, expected to earn Rp165 trillion for the state from overseas assets' repatriation, turns out to be a success.
         While taking over his new office on Wednesday (July 27), Minister Mulyani admitted that tax amnesty program is part of the government's fiscal policy and the state budget management.
         Therefore, the tax amnesty program, policies and the targets that have been set should be implemented cautiously. After all, proceeds from the tax amnesty program are expected to help cover the state's budget deficit as stated in the revised 2016 state budget.
         The House of Representatives (DPR) passed into law the tax amnesty and amended the 2016 state budget bills at a plenary session on June 28, 2016. The amended budget has a deficit of Rp296.7 trillion.
         Sri Mulyani will study the tax amnesty program comprehensively, including targets that have been set, so that the policy would provide concrete benefits when it comes to fiscal instruments and state budget expenditures.

Rabu, 27 Juli 2016

MARKET WELCOMES CABINET RESHUFFLE

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, July 17 (Antara) - President Joko Widodo's (Jokowi's)  cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday is positively welcomed by many quarters, including political leaders, politicians, economic analysts and market players.
        The appointment of Sri Mulyani Indrawati, a former finance minister and managing director of the World Bank, to the finance ministerial post, is considered a the best option to reinforce the economic team in the new cabinet lineup.
        President of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) Sohibul Iman said the economic team of the President is reinforced with 'star players' so that it would improve the nation's economic conditions.
        "Like a soccer team, the economic team has been filled with star players. Now it will depend on the president as the coach of the players whether he is able to lead the team and mobilize his players," said Sohibul Iman to reporters in response to the newly appointed cabinet ministers as announced by President Jokowi on Wednesday.
        Therefore, the PKS president asked all sides to respect the decision of the head of state to reshuffle his cabinet. He said seeing the names of new ministers, the reshuffle focuses on improving the nation's economy which has so far become the spotlight of the public.

Selasa, 26 Juli 2016

POKEMON GO TRIGGERS NATIONWIDE CONCERNS

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, July 26 (Antara) - Despite not being officially launched in Indonesia, many are playing the "Pokemon Go" game through a third-party application, and this has raised concerns among several quarters of the nation.
         Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu had remarked on Monday last week that "Pokemon Go," an online mobile phone-based gaming application, can be a cause of concern for others in society.
         Indonesians have been joining the frenzy of Pokemon Go since the past two weeks. Pokemon Go, which is gaining growing popularity, was developed for iOS and Android devices and makes use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the camera of compatible devices.
         The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures called Pokemons, such as a cuddly yellow Pikachu, who appears on device screens as though it is in the real world.
         However, Indonesia views the Pokemon Go gaming application as a potential security threat to the nation.

Minggu, 24 Juli 2016

TINOMBALA TEAM RESOLVED TO ELIMINATE SANTOSO TERRORIST CELLS

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, July 24 (Antara) - Although fugitive  Santoso, the leader of the armed terrorist  group in Poso, Central Sulawesi, was killed in a gunfight with security officers recently, the Tinomabala Task Force will continue operations to eliminate the group's cells.
         The Tinombala operation, involving a special team of three thousand military and police personnel, was started in January 2016 in line with President Joko Widodo's directive to wipe out the Santoso group, which had made Poso a terror hotbed for years.
         In a gunfight between the Tinombala Task Force and the armed terrorist group in Poso on July 18, the team members successfully shot dead two fugitives, one of them was the leader Santoso alias Abu Wardah. The other one was fugitive Mochtar.
         However,  the task force will not cease its operations until after it eliminates the group's cells. It is believed that the group still has 19 members hiding in Poso.
         Commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) General Gatot Nurmantyo said in Palu, Central Sulawesi on Wednesday (July 20) that he and the National Police (Polri) General Tito Karnavian will continue the Tinombala operation and reinforce the task force, despite the fact that the terrorist leader had been crippled.

Jumat, 22 Juli 2016

FISHERMEN FROM NORTHERN JAVA TO BE RELOCATED TO NATUNA

by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, July 22 (Antara) - The government is planning to build houses on Natuna Islands, Riau Islands Province, for the fishermen from Java's northern coastal areas (Pantura) as part of its program to develop the small islands and border areas.
         "I will leave for Natuna tomorrow to prepare everything needed for the construction of houses for Pantura fishermen to boost the fisheries sector in the islands' waters," Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti noted in a written statement in Jakarta on Thursday.
         Susi stated that the construction of houses was part of the government's plan, in this case the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing, to build villages for fishermen.
         To this end, the Ministry of Maritime and Fisheries (KKP) will build cold storages and detention facilities for those caught poaching in Natuna.
         The government is planning to sink more boats caught poaching in the Indonesian waters in Natuna, Riau Islands Province, on August 17.
         "There will be an August 17 (Independence Day) celebration in the most isolated and outermost islands. It is planned in Natuna. We want the commemoration to coincide with the sinking of the boats," Minister Susi affirmed here, Monday (July 18).

Kamis, 21 Juli 2016

GOVT URGED TO STEP UP SUPERVISION OF EXPATRIATES


by Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, July 21 (Antara) - The government has been urged to step up supervision of illegal expatriates and improve its manpower skills to face stiff competition in the manpower sector so that seven million unemployed local workers can get jobs.
        The All Indonesian Workers Organization (OPSI) said the Manpower Ministry should cooperate with workers and labor unions for supervising foreign workers. Supervision carried out by the ministry should be supported by all sides, including workers and their organizations.
        "All manpower services at the provincial and district levels should support the supervision of expatriates," OPSI Secretary General Timboel Siregar said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
        He suggested that in order to increase the supervision of foreign workers; the manpower ministry should provide a hotline as a means for conveying information on expatriates, particularly illegal workers.
        The Manpower Ministry will also directly repatriate or deport any illegal foreign workers or those who violate Indonesian labor regulations, Manpower Minister M Hanif Dhakiri said on Tuesday.
        "If the public knows anything about them (illegal workers), please report to us and we will immediately deport them. These illegal foreign workers will be directly deported from Indonesia if the government finds out about their existence," Hanif said.

Selasa, 19 Juli 2016

MK EXPECTED TO END CONTROVERSIES OVER IMPORT OF MEAT


by Andi Abdussalam
      Jakarta, July 20 (Antara) - A Constitutional Court's (MK's) verdict over the judicial review of a law on animal health is expected to overcome controversies arising from the government's plan to import meat from nations not free from animal diseases.
         According to the Indonesian Buffalo and Cow Breeders Association (PPSKI), the MK's decision over the judicial review of Law No. 41 of 2014 on the amendment of Law No.18 of 2009 on animal husbandry and animal health will end the controversies.
         The government is planning to import buffalo meat from India in an effort to encourage competition in meat sales and bring down the skyrocketing domestic beef prices.
         However, several quarters are opposed to the government's plan as India is believed to be a nation that is not yet free from cattle foot-and-mouth disease, apart from the consumption culture of Indonesians, who are not accustomed to eating buffalo meat.
        Hence, PPSKI Chairman Teguh Boediyana stated that his organization had called on the MK to soon issue a decision on the judicial review of Article 36 of Law No.41 of 2014 on the amendment of Law No.18 of 2009 on animal husbandry and animal health. 
   "The article to be reviewed concerns provisions allowing the importation of animals or animal products not based on a country but a zone," Teguh noted.